Today wasn’t altogether unanimously positive. Sure, my boss was out of the office, and as such the atmosphere was quite relaxed, but not everything went as planned, like I want it to work. The new rollout of the build machine for the View Pro-X team proceeded perfectly, but required much waiting, which I of course didn’t want to do. But my own machine was busy trying to recover that unfortunate format that had wiped out 250 GB of data on the portable harddisk that belonged to the testlab….

Boy, am I glad mine is a lot neater…I’m not sure I told you about it, but that freak mishap was the result of a piece of malfunctioning software: it gave me the choice of formatting either my memory stick or the external harddisk, and even though I chose correctly, it then proudly mentioned having formatted my memory stick, but that it was now 500 GB. Oops!!!

I’d tried a few recovery attempts last week, all with no success. The last option was a tool a colleague said had rescued his 80 GB disk no sweat. So my hopes were high, maybe even a bit too high: at the end of the day the tool showed good progress, but terrible results: it mentioned being able to rescue no less than 310 Kilobytes of lost files: about 1/10000th of a percent of what had been on it! Now, I don’t know anymore. I reckon that if that data had ever still had the potential to be useful, I should have been able to resurrect it. As it stands though, it looks like my boss will have to survive without it, because it definitely seems gone.

And another task seemed equally doomed: having acquired a nice amount of test data from the scanners at Schiphol national airport, that screen for drugs couriers, I’d been given the task of anonymizing the data, so none of our employees can accidentally run into friends or neighbors when testing. But finding a suitable tool to do them all in one go seemed a daunting task, because none of the tools appeared to work properly. I’d put that task on hold pending further inspiration, but a friendly mail from our prompted me to pick it up pronto. Not because he instillls the same fear of failure in me than my boss sometimes does, but because Guido is a very nice guy, who has absolutely no inhibitions when it comes to engaging in friendly conversation if he encounnters you near the coffee machine.

Still, a renewed search turned up zero new candidates, so in the end I just picked one that at least performed reasonable for one patient at a time, and worked out what it would cost me to do all 1200 of them: 9.5 hours! It’s a shitty job, but somebody will have to do it so it might as well be me…

And then there was this system, that needed to be equipped with two huge five megapixel greyscale monitors. You don’t just feed these images with any videocard, but I’d dug up one who could at least get them up to 3.5 megapixel each. Unfortunately the disk that supposedly contained the right drivers complained about not finding adequate hardware to strutt its stuff, and a well placed search on turned up five pages of hits, unfortunately ALL in Chinese! So again, no progress there….

But still, today felt good. Also because this morning on the train I received a mail from an old ladyfriend in , just to say hi, and let me know she was still alive. Having gotten used to people waltzing into my life, feeding me one or more lessons, and then disappearing again, I thought for a moment that I’d had a setback, and she showed up for a rehash of lessons long learned. But apparently, that is not the case. Just old friends, good company!

And next, the sequel to last nights computer investigation: To help Gert-Jan and his lovely wife Jolanda, I picked up a new video card for their baby just now, which quite probably will make it open its beautiful eye again. Since I’d checked last night that the eye at least wasn’t damaged, it had to be the optical nerve, which was integrated into the motherboard. Aren’t we lucky that a well placed PCI Express slot facilitated installation of a brand new ATI 4350 512MB video card?

So yes, today will be quite nice, even if my horoscope promising me a proposal I won’t be able to say no to will quite probably be wrong….

Expect nothing, be ready for anything!